Tiny creatures rampage through a forest collecting food for themselves only to discover that kindness and cooperation trump greed.
The plot is simple and the first-person-plural narrative brisk and clever. Irony is evident immediately as the title characters claim to be “the strongest guys in the whole forest” but are shown as tiny dots on a small hummock in a pond. After navigating the pond (and bragging about it) they tromp through the forest, where they pick berries, steal from a variety of animals, and return to their island to pile their loot. All is well until they realize that a little red bird has managed to retain a single berry, which proves to be their downfall (literally). Readers and listeners may wonder why the other animals then offer assistance, but their actions result in a change of heart for the little guys. Brosgol’s cartoon-style illustrations, which appear to have been created in watercolor and black pen, infuse enormous personality into her quirky characters. Acorn caps rest atop pale bodies with scalloped bottoms and stick arms and legs. Each has a single orange semicircle below their acorn cap that might be a nose. Forest animals and setting, meanwhile, are recognizably rendered, though exaggerated expressions add to the humor.
Despite (or because of?) their hubris, these little guys are oddly charming and seem likely to amuse young listeners while providing an object lesson about community and collaboration. (Picture book. 5-8)